Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL181859 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1045 GMT 18 Jul 83

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the party
Central Committee, spoke yesterday at the ceremony commemorating Children's
Day, near a new Pioneers and Explorers Center that he opened at the
botanical garden. Before the ceremony, Fidel toured the different
facilities of the explorers Center. The commander in chief unveiled a
monument erected in honor of Celia Sanchez Manduley, who planted the first
tree in the forest.

Present at the activities were (?Anagoma KaimaBei), director general of UN
Organization for Education, Science and Culture; and leaders of the party,
UJC [Union of Young Communists], and mass organizations. Pioneer (Anid Aled
Prieto), member of the national vanguard of that organization for 5
consecutive years, spoke in the name of her comrades on Children's Day. In
an extemporaneous speech, she expressed satisfaction with living in a
country like ours. She also mentioned the role of Cuban children in defense
of the revolution and reiterated that, if necessary, they would exchange
their pencil for rifles.

[Begin child's recording] We all shout with one voice that we want peace
for all the children of the world -- not war, not imperialist intervention
-- and if they attack us, this will be our answer: Wherever it may be, in
whatever way, and for whatever reason, commander in chief, we are at your
service! [shouts] [end recording]

Hundreds of Pioneers met yesterday to celebrate Children's Day with the
commander in chief and commemorated feats of the country's history,
beginning with members of the Cuban Mambi army of 1868 and 1895 and
continuing up to the combat training that our soldiers are currently

In his address, Fidel emphasized the importance of Pioneer and Explorer
centers in the training of young people. He said that what the children are
doing today in those facilities is very similar to what members of the
Mambi army and the rebels did in their liberating struggles.

[Begin Castro recording] And as you have expressed a desire to be good
patriots, good revolutionary soldiers, to be worthy successors of the
current generation, this knowledge you are acquiring at the Explorers
centers will help you to prepare for this. Moreover, it will help you to
have greater self confidence to overcome difficulties and problems. [end

He said that it is really extraordinary that more than 600,000 Pioneers
participate in the Explorers Movement. He noted that there are now 61
Pioneer Explorer centers in the country, and estimated that, in one day,
14,000 children could utilize these facilities and, in a year, more than
half a million.

After expressing his point of view that all Pioneer Explorer centers should
have thatched roofs, Fidel said that there are 22 Pioneer camps in the
country, which were attended by 300,000 children during the term just
ended. During the next school term, we will have 23 camps altogether, which
will allow 475,000 Pioneers to utilize and enjoy the facilities. He also
said that Cuban children have available for their enjoyment 71 Pioneer
palaces and 52 small Pioneer camps. Altogether, there are 248 Pioneer
facilities with a capacity of 1,200,000 children, which means that 80
percent of the Pioneers who are in the sixth grade or higher can enjoy
these centers.

[Begin Castro recording] Many schools and hospitals have now been built for
children. This was the first thing to do. We can really feel satisfied with
ourselves that, as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of Moncada and the
upcoming 25th anniversary of the triumph of the revolution, we can say that
all the children of our country have a school -- all, 100 percent of the
children of the country. Not only do they have primary schools, they also
have secondary schools, preuniversity schools, polytechnic schools, and
technological schools. Moreover, our educational system guarantees
outstanding students the opportunity to continue their higher education in
any field. [end recording]

Fidel again took up the theme of the necessity for primary, secondary, and
preuniversity schools to begin having all-day sessions in the immediate
future. He then pointed out that our children are educated with a great
sense of patriotism and said that Pioneers are also prepared to defend the
revolution, although their first duty is to study.

[Begin Castro recording] That is why, on a day like today, 17 July, on the
eve or a few days before we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the attack
on Moncada, I can say in the name of the combatants of our generation that
we are proud and happy about our Pioneers, [applause] that we are sure that
you will be worthy standard-bearers of the revolution, and that when you
are at the Explorers centers, when you are at camp, when you are
participating in recreational or training activities, or in any activities,
you will do your best and you will do it especially in memory of, in
recognition of, and in gratitude to, that numerous contingent of youths
who, on 26 July 1953, 30 years ago, gave their lives for you. Fatherland or
death! Venceremos! [applause] [end recording]